Gimme Some Loving

by Maddie Dietrich, Music Special Collections and Research Specialist

Gene Loving with members of The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

We in SCUA are excited to announce the acquisition of a unique collection from the local pop music industry, the business records of AGL (A Gene Loving) Productions, a concert promotion agency that brought some of the greatest legends of pop music to Hampton Roads during the 1960s and 70s.

Who is Gene Loving?

A historical player in southeast Virginia’s music scene, both as a concert promoter and as a radio/TV personality. Loving worked his way up in the radio business as a disc jockey and later as music director for Richmond station WLEE. He got his start as a promoter when he booked Freddy Cannon for a live broadcast in 1961. He later moved to WGH where he became the first DJ to pick a Beatles record as a future hit, and over the next four decades he would become one of Virginia’s most recognized on-air personalities.

What did he donate?

A trove of business records and promotional materials (press kits, booking agreements, correspondence, photographs and ephemera) that tell the stories of the pop, rock, and R&B legends Loving’s agency brought to Hampton Roads: the hotels where they stayed, the accommodations they required, the venues where they performed, how much they were paid, and which shows sold out (and which ones flopped). Included among the artists Loving booked were James Brown, The Yardbirds, Sonny & Cher, Jimi Hendrix, The Beach Boys, David Bowie, and The Jackson Five.


While most performances went smoothly, the records reveal occasional hang-ups, from minor contractual disputes to complete show cancellations, with a few involving local law enforcement. In his autobiography Loving Life Loving recalls an incident with The Rolling Stones during their 1966 US tour when they were scheduled to play back-to-back performances at the Dome in Virginia Beach. Extra police had been hired for security after word got out of a small riot at the Stones’ performance in Boston four days prior. For the first show at the Dome police lined up shoulder to shoulder in front of the stage in a display of force that subdued the crowd so much that they responded to each song with only mild applause. Mick Jagger was so angered by this that after the show he called Loving to the dressing room and gave him a thorough dressing-down, shouting that never in all of their shows all over the world had they endured such a humiliating performance thanks to the excessive show of force. Jagger threatened not to play the second show unless the police were removed, which they were.

Virginia Beach police lined up in front of the Rolling Stones.

Where is Gene Loving now?

After four decades in radio Loving turned to television where he was an early innovator in UHF broadcast, developing one of the largest chains of independent stations in US history. He later founded Hampton Roads Wireless. He is the recipient of countless awards in broadcast and philanthropy, and currently enjoys an active retirement lifestyle in Virginia Beach.

*Special thanks to Gene Loving for donating this collection and Dr. Tim J. Anderson for supporting our efforts to collect and promote popular music archives.

She-Ra Visits the Archive

by Metadata Specialist Kathleen Smith

As a seventh grader nearly thirty-five years ago, I used to watch She-Ra: Princess of Power after school every day. I was thrilled to find that Netflix had a new rebooted version titled She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. I have been watching the reboot and I found it much better than the original version, with the characters having more diverse backgrounds and backstories.

In the reboot, a former soldier of the evil Horde, Adora is trying to find her identity and purpose in life on the planet Etheria after coming upon a magic sword which transforms her into the mighty warrior She-Ra. Helping her on her journey are Princess Glimmer and Bow who are fighting in a rebellion against the Horde.

One of the characters, Bow an archer and technology whiz, grew up in the Library of the Whispering Woods with his two fathers George and Lance, the library’s historians/archivists. This is featured in the second season episode “Reunion,” when Bow secretly runs off to visit his fathers. Adora (She-Ra) and Glimmer follow Bow’s tracks and find him in the archives, where they learn unique artifacts and ancient pottery. Not giving much more away, this is an episode I consider to be a favorite because it features a library and archive complete with artifacts and rare books.  The vase and other pottery on display there remind me of the ancient Cypriot pottery in ODU Special Collections’ Dudley Cooper collection that is on display in our Reading Room in Perry Library.

ODU Professor Jared Benton’s Ancient Arts and Archaeology class visited the Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives to analyze ancient Cypress pottery

It was a great thrill to watch this episode, because I work in an archives department within a university library, and I like seeing libraries and archives being represented animatedly.  If you are binging on Netflix during the stay-at-home order and are into libraries and archives, you might want to watch this!